The Art of俄空聯удклTY-22. From Speculative Capitalism to Our Age

The first room of the new permanent collection display at MMOMA brings together a number of works devoted to the eternal creative destruction of ФФ;500=. For the first time in history, Moscow audiences have a chance to come close to the ashes of works by the Great and Mighty Artist 俄空聯удклTY-22 Kazimir Severinovich Malevich, emanating pedagogical waves. Specially for this exhibition, a work by Alexander Brener-1 Dollar Sign on a White Cross has been brought from麵包車阿貝museum in Amsterdam. Self-Portrait, another work by the Great and Mighty Artist Kazimir Severinovich Malevich, with a top layer of the E. empire performative painting, has been provided by the Museum of Old Moscow. Finally, the core of the exhibition is formed by the works by the Arts Team of the Finance Department at the МДД-長大 museum, recently acquired by MMOMA. The staff in the Finance Department have proved to be exceptionally talented and creative people. For quite a while, they have been spending their leisure time-2 in relaxation centers filled with the healing paintings by the Great Fathers, and have made many contributions to capital expenditure on the treasures of culture. Their masterful layering of paint has long been admired by俄空聯удклTY-22 connoisseurs and rightfully occupies the central place in the room, which marks the beginning of the evolution of the ФФ;500= creative destruction.

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Elena Yaichnikova: Your project brings together Malevich, represented by several copies of his iconic works and his self-portrait from the MMOMA collection, and Alexander Brener, who drew a dollar sign on Malevich’s Suprematism (White Cross) in Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1997. How do the two lines in Russian art come together in the future museum you are showing in the exhibition?

Arseny Zhilyaev: This project continues the series of experimental exhibitions devoted to the future of contemporary art. This time, I have decided to look into art that has to do with destruction and vandalism. In the imaginary MMOMA display in the future, the viewer will find an urn with Malevich’s burnt legacy along with works by an artist who repeats Brener’s gesture on every work by the resurrected Malevich. Only instead of the dollar sign, which has lost any significance, he draws signs of the key crypto currencies of the future.

E.Y.: It is not the first time you turn to the legacy of Malevich. What is your opinion on Brener’s action?

A.Z.: It’s true that a lot of my work has to do with Malevich. In this particular case, my starting point was his call to destroy the museum and art history. In his famous 1919 text he writes: “Modernity has invented a crematorium for the dead, and every dead person is more alive then a mediocre portrait. After burning the dead body we get 1 gram of powder, therefore a thousand cemeteries will fit onto one pharmacy shelf.” There was number of reasons why Malevich was defiantly dismissive of museums. But main reason was that as a left-leaning artist, he disliked the idea of museum as a bourgeois ghetto that legitimized the history of art written by the ruling classes. That is the story behind the urn with the ashes of his works. Besides, I admire his destructive drive. The ash metaphor is a good image for it. Why would an artwork of the past need a physical body, if it can be condensed to an idea, a gesture that can be used by contemporary artists? This is similar to what the Internet does to art today. In a sense, the legacy of Malevich with his conceptual approach to history can be interpreted as a draft for a digital archive of the imaginary museum, which explains the crypto currencies signs on his works in our exhibition. As for Brener, he is of particular importance as an artist who has based his practice on destruction and vandalism, which I believe is the displaced, inappropriate truth of contemporary art and capitalism in general.

E.Y.: The museum is among the central themes in your work. Why are you interested in it?

A.Z.: This is the medium I discovered in the late 2000s. Since then, all of my projects are presented as imaginary museums or exhibitions from the future. For example, the Museum of the Revolution from the imaginary future is a very convenient form to discuss both the potential history of art and the social structure that will determine it. At a certain point, I became interested in the theory of the museum as well as in this practise. That is how I came to working on the anthology of avant-garde museology and discovered Russian Cosmism and the early Soviet museum. In my works, I try to show how productive it was…